Trial for Keith Combs and Eugene Ellis

The long awaited trial in the cases of Keith Combs and Eugene Ellis has started.

Edward Jesus Elias and Leopoldo Castro Chavez II, both 36, are each charged with two counts of murder in the Sept. 25, 1993, deaths of 20-year-old Eugene “Cliff” Ellis and 23-year-old Keith Combs. The victims were stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation.”

Chavez’s DNA was found on the inside of Combs’ pockets.

Because they were 17 at the time of the killings, the defendants are not eligible for the death penalty. They face life in prison without parole if convicted of murder and special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery and multiple murders.”

According to the prosecution, Keith Combs and Eugene Ellis were shot three times from close range — Combs in the back, side of the head and back of the head, and Ellis in the chest, temple and side of the head. What exactly the evidence against Elias is, is not clear to me.

Case update: On the morning of Sept. 25, 1993, the bodies of sailors Keith Combs (23) and Eugene Ellis (20) were found in an undeveloped area east of Palm Avenue and Interstate 805. They had been shot to death. A truck belonging to one of them had been stolen. In 2012, Edward Jesus Elias and Leopoldo Chavez II, both 36, were found guilty of first-degree murder and special-circumstance allegations including murder during a robbery. Elias and Chavez were both sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole. They both received consecutive life terms, one term for each victim.